Tag Archives: sweaters

Inspiration: Dreaming of Pullovers

My love of pullovers is well documented, even if I haven’t said it in so many words.  I’ve written a dozen sweater patterns.  Only two of them are cardigans.

I don’t really have anything against cardigans, but there’s something just so wonderful about throwing on a pullover and being totally enveloped in lovely, warm wool.  It’s the closest I will ever come to my dream of it becoming socially acceptable to wear a blanket out and about.  Especially since the weather has started turning distinctly fall-ish around here, there’s nothing I want more than to snuggle up with a big, soft pullover, a book and a mug of steaming tea.

But, since I have a little baby now, (ahem) access is the major concern with all my outfits .  So, it’s cardigans for me for the foreseeable future.  (And cardigans worked exclusively in superwash wool, because… well… baby.)

But, I can still dream, can’t I?  I can comb through Ravelry and pick out all the pullovers I would totally be wearing if only I had the time to knit them up.

I love a simple, classic silhouette on patterns like this.  There’s nothing more versatile than a perfect, plain sweater.  As long as we’re daydreaming, I’d make seven of these in seven different colors/yarns so that I could wear a different one every day for a week. Heaven.

No Frills Sweater by PetiteKnitIngen_Dikkedarer_Sweater_4_medium2But, I might get bored making seven of the same plain sweater.  I could throw a few of these into the mix.  I love the twisted stitch details at the raglan seams and the cool, understated cable/twisted stitch pattern at the bottom.  It’s just enough to make the sweater a little fancy without being fussy.

Opteka by Isabell KraemerIMG_9756_medium2But, really, I want to make this sweater.  I’ve had my eye on it for years.  I think I even picked out yarn for it a few years ago (but then used that yarn for something else).  I don’t know why it’s so appealing to me- it’s just a basic, boxy raglan sweater with nice wide stripes.  (It has pockets too, which I like in theory, but I’d probably omit.)  Maybe it’s the 90’s kid in me; I do appreciate a good striped sweater.

Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaierfullsizeoutput_a137_medium2If you could magically have a new knitted wardrobe, what would you include?  Lots of pullovers? Cardigans? Ponchos?

Inspiration: Hometowns

I’m about to admit something very embarrassing.

In fact, maybe don’t read the rest of this post.

Especially you, Mom and Dad.

Are you gone?

OK.  Hello. My name is Allison, and I love watching The Bachelor.bachelor-2017-nick-viall-promo-pics1I know, I know.  It’s not a great show.  But, it is also kind of really great.  It’s escapism, and these days, Lord knows I need some escapism.  It’s fun to watch beautiful people interacting under such weird circumstances.  It almost feels like watching sports (or what I imagine watching sports would be like if I watched them), you can pick apart every “move” the contestants make, try to infer what’s going to happen next, and cheer when your favorite people get “points.”

I’m even in a Bachelor Fantasy League (I’m winning for now, but it all could change at any moment!), and listen to a Bachelor Podcast (Rose Buddies– which is an absolute delight that you should listen to, even if you don’t watch the show).

Tonight’s episode is the very important “Hometowns” episode, where the last four contestants take the Bachelor home to meet their parents.  It’s always suuuuper awkward, but in the best way possible.

I’m not sure who’s going to make it through this episode, but let’s talk about the remaining contestants (I accidentally typed “characters”… oops!), and assign them sweaters (because this is a knitting blog after all).  (And, I suppose I should mention the Bachelor himself.  After all,  Nick is ostensibly who the show is about, but I really couldn’t care less about him- he has all the personality of a wet paper bag. Anyway- back to the ladies.)

Meet Raven!  She’s an adorable, super cool, super confident and sweet lady from a tiny town in Arkansas.  She owns a little fashion boutique and I really want her to be my friend.

ravenI bet you’d be able to find a sweater like this one in her shop.  It’s a little funky, a little comfy, and totally trendy.  Raven would probably wear it with killer boots and a cool, attention-getting necklace.

Boxy by Joji Locatelliboxy_01_medium21Rachel is a lawyer from Dallas. She’s super smart and capable, and was just announced as next season’s Bachelorette.  (So I guess she doesn’t “win” this season, but that’s A-OK by me, because she’s too good for Nick.)rachelI’d knit this sweater for her- it’s like the fun cousin of a blazer.  Actually, I kind of want this one for myself.

Walk the Cumbria Way by Jutta von Hinterm Stein0___0_walk-the-cumbria-way-hinterm-stein_medium21And, if the last two contestants were too good for Nick, Vanessa certainly is.  She’s amazing.  She’s a tri-lingual, Canadian special-needs teacher.  She’s tough, but sweet (and calls out the Bachelor when he does something crappy-which is rare on this show).  My money is on her for the “win,”  but she’s not actually on my team, so I have mixed loyalties.vanessaHer style is effortless, comfortable, and undeniably chic.  I think she’d rock a simple cardigan like this- actually, I think I might have seen her wear one very similar in the last couple episodes.

BlueSand Cardigan by La Maison Rililieblausand_jacke-42_copy_copy_medium21Then, we come to Corinne.  Corinne is this season’s “villain,” but she’s kind of amazing.  She says she’s the 24-year-old owner of a “Multi-million-dollar business,” but really she’s a model/Instagrammer who goes by the nickname “Corn” and has a nanny.  She’s pretty immature (which is what gets her into trouble on the show), but I’m sure she’s less of a villain in real life.  She’s just a privileged weirdo who’s a little self-absorbed and self-conscious, which comes out as being pushy and unpleasant.  But, I like the girl, nonetheless (and she’s earned my fantasy team about a bajillion points, which is something I really like).cornAnd for my dear Corn, I’d have to make her a super cute sundress/bikini cover-up.  Everyone on this show spends about 3/4 of their time in swim suits, and Corn spends even more time in them than anyone else.  I think she’d totally wear this super cute tunic- though she would have to be careful of weird crochet tan lines.

Beach Tunic by Annelies Baes (Vicarno)white_beach_tunic_medium21Now you know my deep, dark secret.  So what’s yours?  What’s your secret guilty pleasure?

Inspiration: Cheering Up

I got some pretty cruddy news today, and I find myself in a bit of a funk.  (Don’t worry, I’m not dying or anything, just disappointed.)  So, what’s a girl in my position to do?  Nothing productive, surely.  That would make too much sense.

I know, I’ll go trolling through my Ravelry Queue.

I’m sure you’re Queue looks like mine… hundreds of random patterns you’ve collected over the years, half of which you don’t even remember adding.  But, the one thing they all have in common is that they are all patterns I like.

So, in an effort to cheer me up, let’s look at pretty patterns from my queue.

This sweater has apparently been on my Queue since 2009.  I still love it, seven years later.  I’d wear the heck out of this cardigan- a zipper, stripes, and a hood?  It’s like it was designed for me.  Love it!  (Actually knitting it up, with all those stripes… all those ends… *shiver*)

Staccato by Kristen Kapur

2458554061_dfe8208157_z[1]This little wisp of a shawl is too beautiful for words.  But I’ll try anyway.  I don’t think I’d ever actually wear it (I don’t think it’d go too well with jeans and flannel), but it’s so pretty, I kind of want to make it.  Don’t you just love the way they incorporated the corner increases into a lace pattern.  I’ve tried to design something similar, and it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Growing Flowers by Mia Rindejan_2012_224_medium2[1]These little girls are just too cute, too.  And!  They have teeny tiny clothes!  Little dresses, skirts, sweaters, and shawls.  I could just eat them up.  Delightful!

Mary, Millie, and Morgan by Susan B. AndersonDSC_8359_medium2[1]I’ve loved this sweater since last year when I saw a whole table of ladies wearing them at a knitting conference.  It’s just the cutest, with perfect 3/4-length sleeves and a hem that falls at the natural waist, perfect for paring with full, 50’s-style skirts.  And those cables!  Just adorable.  Someday, Chuck, you will be mine.

Chuck by Andi Satterlundchuck01_medium2[1]Well, I’m feeling a bit better already.  There’s something very calming about scrolling through pages of beautiful patterns.  Ahhh…

Do you have an out-of-control Ravelry Queue, too?  Do you have any favorite patterns stashed away for “someday”?

Inspiration: The Killing

I’ve been spending my November holed up away from the damp Seattle weather watching a TV show about the damp Seattle weather.  Because, why not!

It’s one of my new favorite TV shows:  The Killing.  (It’s not new, I’m just late to the party.)   Based on a Swedish show of the same name (but in Swedish… or at least I assume it’s the same name.  I don’t speak Swedish), The Killing is basically the show for people who think Law & Order: SVU is too light and funny.

Luckily for me, I am one of those people.

But, of course, the best part of the Killing isn’t the twisty-turny plot, the great acting, or the insanely brutal crimes.  The best part is Detective Sarah Linden’s amazing sweaters.  How amazing are they?  So amazing.mirielle2I have never seen a woman on TV rock the oversized sweater/puffy coat combo as well as Sara Linden.  mirielle1It’s kind of incredible.mirielle5This one even looks hand-knit!mirielle3I think Sarah Linden might be my spirit animal.  (As far as dressing goes.  She doesn’t smile nearly enough to be my true spirit animal.)

Want to channel your inner chain-smoking, crime-fighting, misanthrope?  Try knitting up one of these over-sized beauties.

The Killing Snowflake Sweater in Fritidsgarn by SKD Yarnsimage_medium[3]Flugeldar by Kiyomi Burginflugeldar8_medium2[1]#224 Weekend Pullover by Diane Soucy224_medium2[1]

Blocking: Sweaters

You understand how to block something simple (a scarf, a coaster, or maybe even a blanket).  Now, it’s time to do something more complicated.  Something with sleeves.

Let’s block a sweater!  (In this case, a baby sweater, but the same process works for a grown-up sweater, too.)

We’ll start by soaking the sweater in a bowl of warm water for 10-20 minutes.  Make sure it’s nice and soaked through.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, just like last time, roll it up in a nice clean towel and squeeze out most of the moisture.  Put out your foam tiles and cover them up with a new clean, dry towel.

Lay out your sweater as best you can  to roughly the right proportions.  When you’re working with a grown-up sized sweater, it can be kind of tricky.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away-we’ll rejigger everything in a minute.  Just eyeball it.

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Now, it’s time to measure the sweater and make sure it ends up the size you want it.  Begin with the chest measurement.  Now, since this is a baby sweater, I want the chest to be 9 inches across.

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Close enough.

Now that the chest measurement is about right, I’ll stretch out the body to the right length,  double-checking that the chest measurement doesn’t get stretched out of shape.

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(Did you notice how I’m not using pins for this sweater?  That’s on purpose.  I try not to use pins on sweaters, because they can create little points and weird bumps on a garment like this.  And, in the case of this particular sweater, I’m not far off from my desired size, so I can just stretch the sweater a little bit and count on the friction between the yarn and the towel to keep it in shape.  If I was trying to use blocking to fix something, I would use pins.  For example, if I needed to add more than an inch to the body length, I would stretch the wet sweater out with pins.)

The body is all arranged correctly, so now let’s do the same thing with the sleeves.

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These sleeves should be about 6 inches long. With the sleeves, it’s really important to make sure both sleeves match one another- no one likes lop-sided sleeves.

Once your sweater has the right measurements, stop fussing with it!  Just leave it!  (And make sure any kids/dogs/cats/gremlins you have running around your house don’t mess with it, either.)

Something small, like this baby sweater, won’t take long to dry, but big, adult sweaters can take a while (especially if you live somewhere humid).  So, to speed the process along, try pointing a fan at it for a day or two.

Once the sweater is completely finished, put it on and do a twirl in front of the mirror, admiring your awesome work!

 

Inspiration San Diego

I just got back from a trip to San Diego with my husband and his family.  We ate a lot of good food, drank a lot of good beer, and generally had too much fun.  (I’m a little crispy around the edges, even though I spent half my time applying and re-applying sunscreen.  I guess that’s what happens when you take a white girl from Seattle and put her on a beach in southern California.)

We spent the week beach combing, (attempting to) body surf, and generally being beach bums.  And as nice as the weather was in the daytime (70s and 80s-sorry everyone in the Great White North!), the evenings got quite chilly.  You need a sweater at night in San Diego.

Luckily, I specialize in sweaters.  Let’s take a look at some beach-appropriate sweaters that I will definitely be knitting before my next trip south.

This light pullover would be perfect for wearing on your morning walk, sipping coffee and examining the beach for treasures that washed up overnight.

San Diego Pullover by Kimberly K. McAlindin

tcb_197_medium2[1]This sweater should be worn while sipping margaritas and eating guacamole at an outdoor cafe overlooking the ocean.

California Dreamin’ by Ilga LejaCalifornia_Dreamin__Main_Image_medium2[1]

And this is the sweater I want to wear while sitting around a campfire on the beach, listening to the waves and looking at the stars.

driftwood by Isabell Kraemer

DSCN0355_medium2[1]What knitwear do you like to pack when you travel?

Inspiration: X-Files

I am a big nerd.  And, I grew up in the 90s/early 2000s.  Therefore, I am a giant X-Files fan.  I’ve probably watch the whole show through three or four times (I’ve got to do something to keep my mind busy while I knit).

xfiles[1]When I was really little (when the show was still new), I was a giant scaredy-cat, and didn’t watch the X files.  In fact, when my folks wanted me to go to bed on Sunday nights, they’d tell me that the X-Files were coming on, and I’d run off to bed, scared.

But, in high school, I discovered the X-files, and started staying up late to watch reruns with the volume turned way down so that I wouldn’t wake up my parents.  Sometimes, I’d tape them (on the VHS tape that I’d bought specially to tape episodes) and watch them later with my dad.  Still whenever I hear the theme song I think of my dad whistling along while we sat on the couch with a bowl of popcorn.

(I’m re-watching the series again (because why not).  I found a new podcast from Kumail Nanjiani (a comedian that I like-he’s on the HBO show, Silicon Valley) called the X-Files Files, where he goes through the series and talks about the show with various guests.  It’s kind of great.  If you’re a nerd like me, I’d recommend checking it out.)

You know what else is great?

Scully’s fashion sense.

I’ve never noticed how many boxy suits and sensible shoes she wears.tumblr_lgck2x6W6J1qdaotno1_1280[1]Look at those shoulder-pads.  Amazing.

If she had time to sit down and knit between fighting off the Flukeman and conducting alien autopsies, maybe she’d make herself a blazer like this:

The Season’s Smartest Blazer by Meg Black

img093_medium2[1]But, you know what?  I don’t think those shoulders are quite big enough for Dr. Scully.  This is better:

Midnight Blazer by Xandy Peters

Blazer08130504_medium2[1]But, on her days off with her man-eating puppy Queequeg, she’d probably wear a comfy, slouchy sweater like this one.  (In fact, I’m 90% certain I’ve seen her wear a sweater just like this in one of the episodes… I just can’t remember which.)

Simple Summer Tweed Top Down V-Neck by Heidi Kirrmaier

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Adventure Time Sweaters

I’ve talked about Adventure Time before.  It’s one of my favorite shows, and defiantly one of my favorite cartoons.  It’s weird, existential, goofy, and fun.

And, for a children’s cartoon, it has an inordinate amount of knitting.

Last year for Christmas, the characters even had a Christmas Sweater party.

adventure-time-sweater-time[1]Finn the Human rocked a super-chunky moose sweater.

christmas-finn[1]And Jake the Dog wore a goose-themed turtleneck.

christmas-jake[1]BMO had on an adorable Snowman number.

christmas-bmo[1]And Princess Bubblegum wore a great all-over color-worked sweater which kind of clashed with her typical bubblegum-pink outfit (and hair), but she didn’t seem to mind.christmas-princess-bubblegum[1]Want to see the rest of the gang in their holiday best?  Click here.

Which is your favorite sweater?